by TaLeiza Calloway
A familiar recreational activity will soon return to the list of things to do in St. Joseph.
City council members recently approved partnering with Archery Country of Waite Park on the installation of an archery range on the very southeast corner of the city.
Specifically, the range will be at the water-treatment plant 2 site next to Kelp Road. The only condition of approval was a policy for use of the range be drafted before it welcomes users.
This will be the second time the city has had an archery range. The first archery range was in Millstream Park. It eventually closed because it was in conflict with other activities that took place in the park, St. Joseph Public Works Director Terry Thene said.
He said the timeline for when the range will be up and running depends on the arrival of the targets. Archery Country has agreed to donate 10 targets. The targets cost about $300 each and will be ordered in the coming weeks.
The Waite Park business has indicated it will host clinics on site, staff the site and assist with archers’ equipment and technique. Archery Country also said it would provide maps to the St. Joseph Archery Range and recommend the site to its customers, Thene told council members Sept. 6.
“It would really be a regional site,” Thene said. “This will draw people.”
It will take city staff about two hours per week to maintain the site during summer months. It’s estimated to cost $500 per year for repair and maintenance issues.
City Council member Dale Wick was happy to see the return of the archery range in the city.
“It’s good to have other activities in the city other than just our normal park activities,” Wick said. “The older people and younger people want to get out there and do something different. I’m glad the Park Board agreed to this as a project.”
Site plans for the range also include space for a potential community garden. Site plans show a parking lot that could be doubled up and used for both purposes. Thene said the city could trench water from one of the wells and could have a 1,000-gallon tank at the site to water the proposed garden.
No decision was made about the garden. It’s an incremental proposal at this time.
The St. Joseph Park Board and staff are expected to solicit donations for additional features that include signage, picnic tables, a pavilion and concrete work, according to city documents. There will also be a donation box at the range similar to that at the disc golf site at Millstream Park.